James McRae, Rick Salt, and Marty Steele, I met these three lads down at the Queens hotel shortly after moving to Nanaimo from Vancouver. My partner and I decided to have a house Party shortly after moving here in January 2015, and invited several friends we had met down at the Queens from the Sunday Blue’s Jam. At this party, amongst other peeps, I was introduced to James and was quite impressed as he had brought along a fresh loaf of baked bread, instead of a bottle of wine upon introduction. That pretty much sealed the deal between me and him and we’ve been friends pretty much ever since. Rick Salt was working occasionally as the sound tech for the Sunday’s Blue’s Jam. Rick is the sole proprietor, and Engineer of his own studio Mountain-view Studio. He agreed to work on some material with me that I had begun shortly before moving to Nanaimo.
I was paired with Marty Steele for a short set at the Blues Jam. I was particularly impressed with him, as I noticed that he turned away a bass player who had offered his services. I learnt that Marty was not only a keyboardist but also a key bass player, and a damn good one. I was impressed with Larry Miller as he is an extraordinary good saxophonist. Over the years, Marty, James, and Larry had performed in different combo groups.
It was approximately 2 years ago, after doing several gigs and projects as a New Orleans blues band with them, that the opportunity came to do this Project! The four of us, agreed to record material I had written and composed. I worked with Marty to focus on the main arrangements. James, Marty and myself then worked on refining these arrangements. The COVID-19 Pandemic was a blessing in disguise as it gave us the time from March onward, to focus on this project! We were ready with the bed tracks for the first three songs by the end of June and worked on the rest of the album in earnest from July thru November.
While Marty wrote and arranged all of the horn parts for the project, James, Marty, Rick and I did the production on the material. As the executive producer, I had the final say on the material. Rick Salt did all the engineering, Mixing and Mastering of the recordings and is the slight hand on the Slide Guitar on “ Pandemic Lies” as well as the Extraordinary lead guitar track on this Lazaara’s Edge!
Honourable mentions go to; The Sax Pistols , Larry Miller ,Dave Bamford, and Darren Nielssen
Mr. “Larry Miller” for Sax and Clarinet performances on : Blue My Blues Away, Take a Ride To Uranus, They Don’t Make Em Like You Anymore, Lifetime Of Company, I’m Yo Man
Mr. “Darren Nelsson” for Trombone performances on: Blue My Blues Away, Take a Ride To Uranus, Lifetime Of Company,
Mr. “Dave Bamford” for Trumpet performances on: Blue My Blues Away, Take a Ride To Uranus, They Don’t Make Em Like You Anymore, Lifetime Of Company,
Two important mentions Musically must go out to; Marisha Devoine and Alaine Homzy!
“Marisha “, (Rick Salt’s Partner ), who performed Vocals on “Can We Still Be Friends “
with Hamish, and all BG’s on others flawlessly. And , Alaine , who performed Exquisite Violin on “Pandemic Lies” , and the Signature Track, “Lazaara’s Edge”
All of this was done under the banner of; The “MAC”, And the Project became known as “LAZAARA”S EDGE” Angels… Pirates …an Demons
We’d like to acknowledge our friends and family but mostly our partners Anjali Chawla , Susan Bennett, Jeane Steele and Marisha Devoine for their constant Support and patience without which we would descend into a clip of the Movie 2001 A Space Odyssey, ( The one where the Chimpanzee’s begin clubbing each other)
Hamish John A Macdonald esq